Lipton’s Journal/December 31, 1954/157

From Project Mailer

The collar of this is the Stalinist who in the better forms is a man with a soul which feels acutely the outrages of society. But the good Stalinist like Charlie Devlin[1] cannot make the full repudiation of the world, it is too terrifying, and so he takes the half-repudiation of Stalinism, with all its frightful restraints and smothering, because he is terrified that to relinquish the world completely is to mean madness. And this is society’s last weapon, the one which indeed is working on me now. For the first time in my life I have come to realize that I, too, could go mad or commit suicide. I do not really believe it, I spend most of my hours in ebullience and enormous inner excitement, but there are moments at night when I am simply, soulfully happy that Adele is there, and that she understands me, and I can turn to her, and say, “Baby, I’m scared.”



Note

  1. An impecunious leftist writer who lived in the rooming house at 20 Remsen Street in Brooklyn where Mailer had a studio and wrote the bulk of The Naked and the Dead (1948). Mailer was grateful for his help in editing Naked and said so in the novel’s acknowledgments. Their letters often contained insults, but their friendship persisted. Devlin was the physical model for McLeod in Barbary Shore (1951).